Even though you can use complex all-around utilities to keep your OSX optimized at all times, there are also numerous helpful small tools which could be of great help. Using these tools you can fix a particular problem with your system, or make it run better. Even though I always suggest using all-in-one applications which are designed to take care of OSX on multiple levels, there’s still some space for highly usable small tools which can be found in the OSX App Store.
Duplicate Detective (currently $3) is an application which brings only one role, and that’s elimination of duplicate files located on your hard drive. Even though this might seem like a simple task, it’s actually much more complicated than you can imagine. Just take for example numerous premium-grade optimization tools which can still cause issues while identifying duplicates. This proved to be very sensitive issue for many users, which is understandable since no one likes to see important files being deleted by mistake. In hope that Duplicate Detective can help us with this problem, we took it for a test.
Even on a first look, Duplicate Detective is pretty much self-explanatory. In order to start searching for duplicates, you’ll need to drag and drop a folder onto this app’s window. You’ll be able to pick one or more folders, or even whole volumes. What you should also know is that if you decide to check your entire hard drive for duplicates (usually 500GB and up), this application will need a long time to finish this task. Luckily, you’ll be able to see messages from Duplicate Detective notifying you that it’s still alive and responsive. Once this process is finished, you’ll get to see how much files have been scanned, a number of found duplicates, and how much space these duplicates are taking. Simply click on “Next” to proceed to a detailed list of found files.
Detailed list of duplicate files can be used to review which files you’d like to delete. You can sort entries by their file type, so you’ll get to see folders, images, docs, audio, archives, and apps. If you select an entry, you’ll see its preview and even more details where you can choose which duplicate file you’d like to keep. As you can see, Duplicate Detective is very user friendly and tries its best to help you determine which files are obsolete.
What also needs to be said is that this application is designed to find duplicates by comparing file’s hash strings. In other words, if you’ve got an image in PNG and JPEG formats, this tool won’t be able to detect it. On the other hand, if you’ve got two identical PNG or JPEG files, they’ll be successfully identified.
I would recommend Duplicate Detective for average home users who are in need for this type of utility. It can be effective, and it seems to me that it always provides accurate results. In case you’re in need of a bit more complex duplicate finder, I would suggest looking for a premium-grade product.